The ultimate creamy, dreamy vegan chocolate peanut butter pie. This no-bake recipe is free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar.
I was scrolling through Instagram recently and found myself drooling over a slice of peanut butter cream pie, posted by someone eating at a restaurant in Australia, of all places.
Aside from the mouthwatering pic, I was intrigued by the idea that peanut butter cream pie, which I’ve always thought of as a distinctly American dessert, has traveled to the ends of the earth to delight hungry people Down Under.
But — back to this particular pie. You probably know what it’s like to be struck by a craving. If you do it right, a craving will worm its way into your brain and park there for a while until you take action. Sometimes you can distract that pesky bugger by doing something entirely off the subject, like starting an epic round of vacuuming, or taking a walk or something.
That tactic wasn’t going to work this time. My instant attraction to the lofty, chocolate-lashed pie ‘gram was obviously because peanut butter cream pie needed to happen, and pronto.
I wanted to make a pie in the classic tradition of peanut butter cream pie — a confection with a rich, cloud-like texture and that intense peanut-butter-cup flavor — but I didn’t want it to be a calorie bomb of sugar and dairy that would make me hate myself in the morning.
So, I borrowed some key secrets and ingredients from plant-based cuisine to create a pie that checked all the boxes. The crust layer is a simple blend of nuts, cocoa and maple syrup, and the pie is topped with a rich peanutty cream with a swirl of melted chocolate.
The secret to the rich filling is based on raw cashews, which make a delicious, neutral-tasting cream when soaked and blended. Blended cashews often replace dairy products in vegan or dairy-free recipes.
The other trick I used for this recipe was using dates and maple syrup as sweeteners — they’re both natural sources of sugar and flavorwise, they get along pretty happily with chocolate and peanut butter.
This is a very easy recipe, but you will need to get your hands on a high-speed blender (preferably) to make a super-smooth, rich cream. A food processor will work, too — it just might take a few more minutes to get there.
The pie needs to be frozen until firm, then let it sit at room temperature briefly before slicing to unlock its luscious texture.
frozen chocolate peanut butter cream pie (v, gf, sf)
Yield 1 9-inch pie
This absolutely delicious vegan peanut butter cream pie tastes decadent and creamy, yet it's made with good-for-you ingredients — no refined sugar, dairy or gluten.
You need a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, or a 9-inch tart pan with 2" inch sides (also known as a quiche pan).
Store the pie in the freezer and thaw at room temperature about 15 minutes before serving.
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 3/4 cup unsweetened creamy peanut butter
- 1 cup pitted Medjool dates (about 6)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 whole vanilla bean
- 4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- 2 cups raw walnuts or almonds
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Pinch sea salt
- Cover the cashews with water and soak for 2 hours.
- Drain the cashews and put into a powerful blender or a food processor. Add 1 1/2 cups cold water, the peanut butter, dates, maple syrup and sea salt. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the mixture. Puree until very smooth, thick and creamy (if the mixture becomes too thick to blend, add more water one tablespoon at a time until it's the right consistency).
- To make the crust, process the walnuts or almonds in a food processor until they look like coarse flour. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until mixed. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch deep pie dish or tart pan with 2 -inch sides.
- Pour the filling into the crust and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Put the chocolate in microwaveable dish and heat on high in 30 second increments, stirring each time, until it's melted. Spoon some of the chocolate in random blobs over the top of the filling (save the rest for serving). Use a skewer or thin knife and swirl the chocolate into spirals (be sure not to touch the crust layer).
- Cover the pie and freeze until firm. Let it thaw at room temperature until it's sliceable. Serve drizzled with more melted chocolate and sprinkled with peanuts.